It’s absolutely tragic when we hear of an airplane crashing, killing nearly 200 passengers. Would you be surprised to learn that every two weeks the same number of pedestrians are killed in pedestrian accidents in Texas? By following simple safety guidelines and staying aware of the surrounding environment, pedestrian injuries and deaths can be prevented.
Children are not as alert to traffic and the dangers of motor vehicles as adults are. Brad says, “A majority of child fatalities take place when children dart into the street.” It is important to watch children and educate them about pedestrian safety. Older walkers face the same dangers as younger pedestrians, but they often have less physical agility to cope with those dangers. Pedestrians ages 65 and older are two to eight times more likely to die than younger people when struck by vehicles, according to crash studies, due to issues with physical resilience.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas ranks 10th on the list of the highest rates of deadly pedestrian accidents in the U.S. The Lone Star State registered 649 pedestrian deaths in 2019, leading to a pedestrian death rate of 2.24 pedestrians killed per 100,000 residents. Texas is known for its popularity in truck ownership. Recent research shows that when oversized vehicles strike pedestrians, they are correlated with higher fatality rates than smaller vehicles. Other factors listed for this ranking include dense populations in Texas cities, speeding, drivers failing to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, and the lack of well-lighted crosswalks and street corners.
Brad says, “Another reason, which is an issue on its own, is more distracted drivers. With new technology, GPS, and cell phones, distracted driving and pedestrian accidents in Texas are at an all-time high.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 9 people are killed in crashes that reportedly involve distracted driving each day.
Reminders for Those on Foot
- Use the sidewalk. If there isn’t one, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
- Obey traffic signals, including crosswalk signals.
- Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks and look left, right, left before crossing.
- Increase your visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking and wearing reflective clothing, such as reflective vests.
- Avoid using electronic devices like earbuds or walking if you have been using alcohol or drugs. They can cause distractions and impair judgement and coordination.
Reminders for Those Behind the Wheel
- Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Yield the right of way to pedestrians when turning at intersections.
- Obey the speed limit and pay 100% attention to the road.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing where you can’t see.
- Brad says, “Be extremely cautious when backing up and always look for pedestrians.”
- It should go without saying, but never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a pedestrian accident in Texas, contact us today to talk about your options.